Google Inc.â€™s long-anticipated acquisition of online ad service DoubleClick Inc. is expected to turn the Internet search leader into an even more powerful marketing vehicle thatâ€™s fueled by better insights about consumers. The $3.1 billion deal, completed Tuesday after nearly a year of regulatory wrangling, also may intensify the pressure on Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. to resolve their stormy courtship so they donâ€™t risk further distractions while Google tries to sprint further ahead in the race for Internet advertising. Google took control of DoubleClick a few hours after Europeâ€™s antitrust regulators removed the final stumbling block by approving a deal that was first announced 11 months ago. Besides opening up new opportunities, Googleâ€™s takeover of DoubleClick will create more challenges for a management team already grappling with concerns about how the slowing U.S. economy will affect the companyâ€™s earnings growth this year.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt acknowledged in a statement that the biggest acquisition in the companyâ€™s 9 1/2-year history probably will trigger an unspecified number of layoffs after years of relentless hiring. The looming job cuts will be concentrated in the United States, although Schmidt said offices in other countries could be affected. New York-based DoubleClick has 1,500 employees with offices in France, England, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Australia and Spain. Mountain View-based Google employs nearly 17,000 workers, up from 1,600 just four years ago. Googleâ€™s recently slumping shares soared with the rest of the stock market Tuesday, gaining $26.22, or 6.3 percent, to $439.84. The companyâ€™s stock price remains down by 36 percent so far this year. I guess this is the right time to start worrying about the internet dominance.